I’ve written a guest post for Raleigh Vintage on what a brand new, never-been-to-a-swing-dance-before, dancer might want to know before heading to their first swing dance. I know there are tons of these, written for every swing dance society/group ever created, but I figured these things can’t be said enough – the more resources, the better.
You can thank the magic of Facebook for alerting me to this shopping opportunity – I believe I saw that Valerie Salstrom had commented on a particular tee shirt image and voila! I found Dean Velasco’s home grown swing tee shirt shop, where you can message Dean on Facebook for one of his clever swing dance themed tees.
I showed one of the tees to my husband, who said “I might like one of those,” so I bit – commerce through Facebook commenced and I learned that Dean did have a “slightly outdated” website that did not have an ordering system, but does allow the general public to view the tees. Dean sells mostly to friends and via Facebook, but right now it’s just a hobby. We all have 2 or 3 streams of income, right? Right. If things pick up, perhaps Dean can find a distributor for his wares, but for now he’s keeping things in the community.
The shirts are available in unisex sizes, S to XL in black and navy blue, and a few black XXL. The ladies shirts are available in S to XL in black and navy blue. $15.00 a pop ($17.50 for XXL) plus shipping.
My Baby Jo announced the arrival of their new 1940’s-inspired blouses, that are the epitome of lady-like (“Veronica” and “Simone” to be exact). I knew as soon as I saw the photo exactly what they were – I have a 1940’s coral blouse of the same vein that I picked up from Dolly’s Vintage a few months ago thinking, “Here’s something I haven’t seen a lot.” It looks like My Baby Jo was on the same page, only they did something about it! This blouse is fitted, with lovely buttons down the back, and metallic stud detailing. It’s just begging for a high-waisted skirt! Available in black, red, blue, and brown.
Do I know any size 42 gents? If I did or if I remembered you would have received a message from me about this amazing 1930’s suit, labeled “Paramount Wardrobe” as in this suit was made for the movies! I’m just going to copy/paste the seller’s description because this suit is so rad:
“Original Men’s 1930’s two piece BACK BELT SUIT in Size 42” chest in a nice medium cocoa brown wool flannel suiting. The jacket is single breasted with two lower patch pockets and decorative seams down the front. The back is pleated into a half belt and has a “Bi-Swing” action back with two long vertical pleats. The pants have a pleated front and two side and two back pockets. The only markings are an ink stamp on the trouser waistband: “Paramount Wardrobe”
The suit measures:
Across the shoulders: 19″
Down back from collar seam to hem: 31″
Sleeve from shoulder seam to cuff: 24 1/2″
Pants waist: 36″ (can be let out to 38 1/2″
Pants inseam: 31″ (can be let out to 33 1/2″)
There are no rips, tears, stains or mothing, etc on this suit. It’s in excellent condition.” (Emphasis added.)
42 gentlemen, it is your imperative and your directive that you acquire this suit – go forth and conquer!
I know we’re reaching the end of tweed season, but when something rare pops up the season of acquisition simply doesn’t matter – here, we’ve got two jackets that popped up on eBay this week. First, we have a J. Peterman reproduction Edwardian style tweed Norfolk jacket, size 38, with the classic belted back, square front pockets, and a nice feature where you can actually button up the jacket all the way (those lapels are not just for show!). Second, a nice Pendleton wool tweed Norfolk jacket, size 40, with elbow patches and a nice rainbow fleck to the tweed. Prices: $20.00 starting bid and $39.99 Buy It Now, respectively – steals, I say!
Every now and then Urban Outfitters will have some home item that just blows me away. As I was pilfering through their website looking for gifts for the Boy, I came across these fantastic dress forms. Aside from sewing shops, I’m not sure where you would buy a dress form, but they evoke a certain nostalgia for me. I’d love to have one in my guest room/auxiliary closet to have around, perhaps displaying a particularly awesome vintage garment. From a functional aspect, it would be helpful to have one to hem dresses, or take in dresses, or accomplish some other simple sewing tasks I am capable of.
While these forms are not adjustable, you can buy one in your size (or a close approximation to your size). Available in plain muslin, two prints, and three solid colors. Consider the green one added to my Christmas wish list!
I’m on a dress kick this week, so bear with me. Today we have this amazing 1930’s dress, in my favorite color, with lots of lovely details – the faux jacket (fauxlero?) with inset “blouse” in a slightly off (but complimentary) shade of green with a blossom print, contrast cuffs, Art Deco belt buckle, pleating on the front and back of the skirt, and a little “knot” at the back of the neck. So charming, this level of detail is fantastic, but doesn’t overwhelm. Can someone replicate this for me?
The seller has this listed as a 1920’s dress, but I would argue that this is a late 1930’s style, given the higher waist and the type of detailing. Thoughts?
As I multi-tasked through my emails this morning, I was contemplating making some cherry bounce for the holidays, then ran across this 1920’s dress in a cherry print. Serendipitous? Perhaps if it had been in my size…
Cherry prints are very popular for reproductions and can be found in vintage clothing every so often, but are usually associated with decades other than the 1920’s. Aside from the adorable print, this dress has some nice details, like mesh insets in around the arm holes, long sleeves with gold trim at the cuffs, and an adorable gold and red scalloped trim around the bottom of the dress that runs up the back of the skirt. Just fantastic!
Credit this dress to Emerald City Vintage, an eBay seller who consistently has the dress that catches my eye amongst the hundreds of eBay vintage dress offerings.
It’s already wonderful that the Eastern Balboa Championships is just a short drive away, but this year EBC really had the feel of a top notch swing dance event, brimming with a level of excitement and enthusiasm that is almost unrivaled. EBC already felt like a Balboa family reunion, bridging the gap between All Balboa Weekends, but this year it felt like EBC really came into its own as an event. The new hotel for this year’s EBC, the North Raleigh Hilton, provided a lovely ballroom space, a big hallway with chairs and tables for vendors, registration, and for hanging out, and there were no shortage of extra rooms for practice space. There were competitions for everyone and I am proud of the newer Raleigh/Durham Balboa dancers, some of them only dancing Balboa for a few weeks prior to the event, taking the challenge head on and entering their first amateur competitions.
This year, EBC grew from one vendor to four vendors. The solo repeat vendor, and one that is near and dear to my heart, is the Vintage Collective (Andi Shelton, Claire Villa, and Laura Churchill Pemberton), who paid attention to what was bought and who purchased it last year, then went out to their sources to find even more of these vintage goods that swing dancers wear. The result was four large racks of clothing from the 1920’s through the 1940’s, both men’s and women’s apparel, three tables of accessories, and a giant shoe rack. The Vintage Collective was only set up for one day, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and I was there with my fellow vintage poachers at 9:00 sharp, freshly rolled out of bed and ready to commence with the hunt.
I intended to go grab the goodies I wanted, then go back to bed, but it was so exciting trying on clothes with my friends and choosing outfits for people that it was lunchtime before I knew it. I think Rita Shiang got my two favorite dresses of the day – a 1930’s sailor dress with red trim and a 1940’s brown floral rayon dress with amazing draping and a fishtail attachment in the back, you know, for sass. Again, I forgot to take photos of all this good stuff until the end of my shopping visit, I got so wrapped up in the experience…
Next, we have Dancestore, the anchor vendor of any major swing dance event and one that is continuously welcome, as they continue to provide reasonably priced, reproduction dance shoes that are essential to any swing dancer’s wardrobe. At one point, Frankie Hagan stopped dancing and came up to me to show me that his heel had come off his shoe. About 10 minutes later he came back up to me to show off his new pair of Aris Allen cap toes. THIS is only one of the great reasons to have a shoe vendor at your event. Another is to be able to actually try on the shoes to ensure a good fit. Then, at the dance on Sunday night, Kara Fabina announced that Dancestore would be selling their entire inventory at the event for 40% off for the next 15 minutes. YES!!! There was a rush to purchase the discounted shoes and even I decided to replace my pair of white mesh oxfords that I had danced a hole through the toe – at 40% off, how could you not?
Creations by Crawford is Sharon Crawford’s name for the hair flowers, fascinators, boutonnieres, and other clothing ornamentations she makes. I was a bit confused when I saw Sharon’s vendor space, as there were a few items for sale, but it mostly looked like a craft studio, with supplies everywhere. Then Bill Speidel showed me his boutonniere and explained that Sharon had made it custom to go with his outfit. I looked over and Sharon confirmed, as she furiously sewed together one of her creations for a customer. This is a new approach and one that can work at a weekend event – you have a bit of a captive audience if the shopper is there for the weekend, why not make something to go with what they are wearing if they have the time to wait? By the end of the dance you can have a custom piece that you know will work with something you have.
Finally, we have Vintage Visage, the brainchild of Kathryn Meyer, who had a fantastic display of vintage-inspired hats and accessories for sale, including hair flowers, fancy gloves, hats for ladies and gents, and the ever essential fan. Whoever has the foresight to sell fans at dances is always tops in my book. If you are looking for Kathryn and her wares after EBC, she is a regular vendor at Richmond’s Second Saturday dances.
And that about wraps it up for another great year at EBC! Here are some supplemental photos of the vendors:
This weekend I’m driving 25 miles from my house to the Hilton North Raleigh for the 2011 edition of the Eastern Balboa Championships. It promises to be an epic weekend of shenanigans, ninjas, and shopping. The Vintage Collective is returning for another swing era-themed trunk show, and I hear there will be some new vendors making an appearance at EBC. There will also be cupcakes. 🙂 I’ll post a full report after this weekend’s festivities.